Guide to Flying First Class

guide to fliying first class

Flying first class can be an extremely pleasurable experience, offering numerous benefits that other passengers simply do not get. However, you may be wary about whether first class is indeed an option you would enjoy or if the extra charges are worth it at all. This article aims to provide you with the knowledge you require before making that all-important decision on whether you should fly first class.

Do Your Research

research first classBefore booking any tickets, you should take a great deal of time researching different airlines and all the benefits they can offer upon the purchase of a first-class ticket — these can vary wildly. For example, Emirates boasts an onboard shower and an exclusive bar and lounge, while Virgin Atlantic offers a modern and sophisticated dining experience with specially designed cutlery and crockery. Researching all your options is vital when it comes to first class because each airline may offer something that particularly suits your tastes. Therefore, reviewing all your options is extremely important and should not be taken lightly. Do your homework, and you won’t be disappointed.
Circumstance Matters
Flying first class depends on the circumstances you find yourself in. For instance, if you’re traveling for business, then it may be possible for you to get the company you’re working with to pay for an upgrade to first class. This would be good if it’s a long-haul flight or the circumstances of your business may allow you to be granted that upgrade. Alternatively, upgrading to first class may not be financially feasible for many. An upgrade can be extremely costly, and, for some, the benefits may simply not be good enough to justify the steep price. However, some circumstances may alter this. For example, if you’re on your honeymoon or celebrating a special occasion, it can be a good way to further celebrate or make sure your trip is a comfortable and memorable one. Similarly, if you’re intending to fly long distance, then it may be worth upgrading. The comfort and relaxation that is provided in first class may be more suitable and worthwhile for you over the long period of time you’re in the air.

Free Upgrades

The best way to experience first-class travel is if you can manage to get a free upgrade. Although these aren’t handed out regularly, some travelers can manage to benefit. The key to getting a free upgrade is to look smart and professional at the airport so you will be considered first if the airline staff is looking for someone to move up to first class.

What You Can Expect

first class flyingSo, you’ve decided to go for it and you’ve bought your first-class ticket. What should you expect? As previously mentioned, this experience will vary greatly between airports and airlines. For example, some airlines, such as Thai Airlines, offer limousine transfers between hotels and airports, as well as private services. These include carrying your bags and checking them in while you go directly to the first-class lounge and enjoy the numerous benefits there, including complimentary champagne and other beverages, both hot and cold, and food. Once the flight begins boarding, you will most likely be one of the very first to board the plane. This gives you the opportunity to find your seat and place all your baggage away very quickly with minimal disruption or stress from the people moving around you. Instead, you will be seated in your luxury seat within moments and can stretch out easily because of the ample legroom. Overhead storage will not be a problem because there is more than enough in first class. Once on board and sitting down, you can relax and expect a more substantial meal than you might have had in the past. The choice of food will vary between airlines, but, usually, you will find yourself with a more-than-substantial three-course meal that will be suited to your tastes. Wine is also usually available and can be chosen from a menu, much like the meal. A staple among modern first-class flights is a seat that can transform into a bed at a moment’s notice. You will have much more comfort for sleeping and relaxing, especially on a long-haul flight that requires some form of rest. These beds are fully flat, tilting a full 180 degrees so it lies flat and will create a bed. These beds/chairs are also usually accompanied by a curtain that will offer privacy from other passengers and flight attendants when required. On some airlines, it is possible to transform two chairs into a double bed to allow for even more comfort and space.

The Best Seats in the House

seats first classAlong with the aforementioned legroom and greater amount of space that you have aboard first-class flights, there is also a more relaxed and quieter experience overall. Because the first-class seats are usually in the front of the plane, it is likely that you will never hear the loud hum of the engine or the general noise of movement from the plane itself. Similarly, it is unlikely that you will hear anyone else on the plane because first class is usually far removed from the rest of the cabin. This guarantees your journey is a calm and peaceful one. Turbulence, should it occur, is also minimal at the front of the plane. So, you will stay relaxed and in comfort for the entirety of the journey even in the face of inclement weather and harsh flying conditions.

Worth it in the Long Run

Many airlines offer a reward system that will grant you points for flying with them. These rewards can sometimes offer upgrades to first class. If you have these points saved up, they can make your upgrade an essentially free and worthwhile exchange. Similarly, flying first class in the first place usually grants you more points, sometimes up to three times as many, to use on other flights. Sometimes, you would be able to pay for whole flights. A common reward system is the frequent flyer miles. Furthermore, being part of an airlines VIP or Elite members club may also award you with complimentary upgrades to first class, thus making the price well worth it in the long run.

A Truly Unique Experience

It is hard to deny that flying first class is a unique experience and, usually, a comfortable and relaxing one at that. It is really up to you to decide whether the numerous benefits of flying first class are enough to justify the price. And, if so, make sure that you have carried out a great deal of research into all of your options and make absolutely certain that all of those choices are weighed fairly so that you can choose the option that is best suited to you and your personal tastes. You want an option that is most likely to give you that truly unique experience that many flyers crave for. You want it to be a more relaxing and comfortable flight in which you can rest easy knowing that everything is taken care of on both sides of your journey. And, you also don’t want to worry about anything while up in the air.

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A Massachusetts native, blogger Angeline Everett grew up in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and earned a degree in casino management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After graduating, Angeline moved to Atlantic City where she joined the young team at the Borgata Casino as a compliance representative, while blogging on the side. After a few years in the back office, Angeline moved to the floor to work first at a casual poker dealer and later casual poker floor supervisor. Fascinated with games of chance since she was a child, Angeline currently divides her time between blogging and work on her first book.